Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Mid-Life Motherhood Under Construction

This past Saturday I attended a great workshop on blog design through Philly Social Media Moms.  Thanks to Jo-Lynne, from Musings of a Housewife and DCR Design, and Dresden, from Creating Motherhood and Plaid House Designs, for organizing and presenting the seminar.  Special thanks to My Chinoki for sponsoring the event.

The morning was full of inspirational ideas, some were a bit over my head needing interpretation from my computer geek hubby afterward. For the most part, however, I think I was able to grasp a few ideas to get me started on improving my little corner of the blogosphere.

Me getting design guidance from Dresden

Photo by Jo-Lynne
During the seminar they showed examples of good, and not so good, designs. Some tips of do's and don'ts  include:
  • DON'T: Play annoying music, have a header that takes up the whole screen, or plaster your site with the same old cartoon ladies we've all seen for the past few years.  (Considering I had entered the seminar hoping to redo my title with the above mentioned cartoon lady pushing a stroller, this workshop was definitely for me!)
  • DO: Create a simple header, declutter the sidebar, make use of drop down boxes and tool bars, use photos to accentuate posts and never forget that content is key!  As Jo-Lynne declared, "Content is King and design is the crown!"
My favorite part of the workshop is when we had the opportunity to see some of our own blogs critiqued.  It was helpful to hear the positive comments people had, the encouraging words given and some great advice on things to delete, add or change.  It was also quite helpful to hear from the owners of the respective blogs to see why they chose one option over another or see what kind of advice they were seeking to improve their site.

I had sent my small potatoes blog along to be critiqued, thinking that it would be just one of many submissions and probably wouldn't make the cut to be discussed at the workshop.  You can imagine my shock, and slight nervousness, when I saw it emblazoned on the large screen for all to see!  Apparently, only half a dozen of us had braved submitting our own blogs to be scrutinized by our peers and resident experts.

After the crisp, clean, pretty blogs, there was a collective giggle (alright, outright laughter) at my years old, cookie cutter design below:
My Generic Polka Dot Layout

Trust me, it was one of those moments when I was laughing right along with them!  I had never really liked the previous design, it just was the best choice I could find at the time.  Being the hectic mid life mom that I am, in addition to the fact that I have not gleaned any technical savvy through osmosis while married to a computer geek, my blog layout has remained the same, static, unfinished blog it has been since day one. (Please note my attempt to put a Philly Social Media Mom button on the side!  Fittingly, it never fit!)

After the seminar, Dresden offered to help me pick a new layout, so I moved from polka dots to stripes. (How adventurous of me?!) I have plenty of ideas in my head of things I'd like to change, add, design, post, etc., but am finding it hard to accomplish too much with my little knowledge of HTML and only a two hour window during the coveted afternoon nap time slot in which to work.  Therefore, I wanted to let you all know that my little domain is now officially under construction, so be on the look out for new things in the near, or distant, future.  You know, in between the laundry, dishes, play dates, grocery shopping, teen drama and toddler tantrums that make up this little spot that is My Mid Life Motherhood!


  1. WOW! Talk about an improvement, way to go!!!

  2. Your blog looks beautiful : ) I am so happy you had a great time at the workshop and you learned a lot! Fantastic!

  3. I'm so glad you found the workshop helpful!!! Your blog is already much improved. :-) Let me know if you have specific questions. I'm happy to help. :-)

  4. I love the colors! nice job! The workshop seemed great. sorry I missed it.Thanks for sharing what you learned. It is a great group of women.

  5. Love the changes you've made so far! I would still love to see a picture of your kids on the site if you're comfortable.

    As for the list of changes, just keep a running list, work through them one at a time, and you'll get there!

  6. Looking great. I've made lots of changes too, moved to Worpress, purchased a domain and paid for self hosting... now to figure out what to do with it all.
    Martha (I sat in front of you, we chatted briefly about teens vs toddlers)